Los Angeles

Charlie Nothing

Eugenia Butler Gallery

To paraphrase Lord Chesterton, young men should beware any gallery enterprise which requires the presence of a tape recorder. Charlie Nothing has one present to dispense the sounds of his installation and opening; it, and other process-y professional display devices, belie Nothing’s seeming role as the penultimate flower child. The general tone of the exhibition celebrates purity of soul, implying (at least to me) that one’s personal vibes, spread over a lot of therapeutic busywork, will carry the day (in fact, funkiness is construed by the show as an ethical, as well as esthetic, virtue; the trouble is, that route requires a professional amateur, like Garabedian, to pull it off). The exhibition consists of paintings-in-the-crate-on-the-wall, some handmade manuscripts, some faux-naïf drawings, and, as if to shore up Nothing’s shortcomings as a painter (and to reinforce the idea that this

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